Tuesday, February 12, 2008

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

Eugene Robinson defends my ilk

Eugene Robinson is (sort of) defending Republicans today in his Washington Post column:

It would be insane to waste time and energy worrying that somewhere, doubtless in a high-tech subterranean lair, Republican masterminds are cackling over their diabolical plot: The use of reverse psychology to lure unsuspecting Democrats into nominating Barack Obama, an innocent lamb who will be chewed up by the attack machine in the fall. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Or maybe Republicans are using double super secret backward reverse psychology to exploit the Democratic Party's congenital paranoia: Let's say nice things about Obama so Democrats think we really want to run against him, and that will make them play into our hands by nominating Hillary Clinton, who so energizes the Republican base that we can actually win an election that we ought to lose. Cue another round of deranged mad-scientist laughter.

Amazingly, those are the kinds of things you hear Democrats saying out loud these days. Let me suggest that the party has enough to think about without dreaming up dilemmas....

Enough with the Dr. Evil routine. I think there's a simpler reason that so many Republicans speak admiringly of Barack Obama and say he would be the tougher candidate to run against. Obama disagrees with conservatives without demonizing them. He even invites Republicans to join him in building the post-partisan America he envisions.

Hillary Clinton, author of the phrase "vast right-wing conspiracy," is more confrontational, to say the least.

Democrats can and should argue about which approach is better. But they should worry about their own strategy -- and not obsess about Republican mind control.

posted by Dan on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM


Ahh, but isn't that just what a Republican WOULD say to us Democrats, to keep us from getting a whiff of your brilliant evil mind-control double-bank-shot plans?

posted by: Kent on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM [permalink]

Why not just a more direct approach? Obama says kind things and they will have more influence over him. 'Do it my way, or didn't you mean all those things you said in the first place?'

posted by: Lord on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM [permalink]

I'm a little puzzled, sometimes, about the prevailing perspectives on Hillary. Yes, she's confrontational. And lately, she's liberal too. But she tried, early in this process, to pave a road right down the middle, with her talk of "the responsibility gene" when it comes to Iraq, her public plans to actually keep substantial numbers of troops there, and her support for that resolution condemning Iran.

Her husband, of course, was the guy who pushed a dramatic free trade agenda, signed welfare reform, and might have even implemented Social Security reform with private market accounts if it were not for the Lewinsky scandal.

Hillary, and her husband, aren't cut from the cloth of the real liberal firebreathers, are they? The other Democrats who've held spots on recent presidential tickets -- Kerry, Edwards, Gore -- are all more passionate in their liberalism and partisanship than Hillary.

So why is it, exactly, that Hillary has the unique capacity to unify and energize Republican voters? Because they feel so strongly about the Clinton years, and they just ... well ... hate the Clintons? Maybe.

Why are the Clintons viewed as particularly polarizing? Partly, I suppose, because of their willingness to play hardball. Partly because they beat the Republicans so frequently on policy and at the voting booth. But part of that, ironically, has to do with Bill Clinton's willingness to steal their ideas.

So you have a polarizing pair of Clintons who were also willing to be reasonable (and even conservative sometimes) on policy. There's something ... just ... weird about that.

posted by: William Swann on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM [permalink]

Well, I don't think HRC was talking about you, Daniel Drezner, when she discussed the VRWC. She was talking about Mike Huckabee (for example) and anybody else that went for the whole "Vince Foster's murder is just the tip of the iceberg" nonsense.

posted by: mac on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM [permalink]

I've seen it first-hand, and I can tell you that yes, they do "just ... well ... hate the Clintons." The second- or quadruple-guessing of Republican motives may sound just this silly to someone who hails from a well-educated urban center and gets to associate with smart thinkers all day. I myself hail from John Ashcroft's hometown in southwest MO. I have no less than 15 family members who still live there, and they all voted for Hillary on super Tuesday because they are quite literally salivating at the thought of destroying her in November. With her on the ticket, they don't care which Republican they're voting for - they will already be as energized as a base can get. I promise - it's not a crazy train of thought if you've lived among the rabid Clinton-haters for long enough.

posted by: Cranky Kate on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM [permalink]

BUT, since you're an intelligent man,
and all intelligent men are well-read,
and since no one who was well-read
could fail to catch this reference
I clearly cannot choose the wine in front of me

BUT WAIT: since Obama is an African name
and Africa lies East of the United States
and the sun rises in the east
and you are some mother's son
I clearly cannot choose the wine in front of you


The flagon with the dragon
has the pellet with the potion
The chalice with from the palace
has the brew that is true

... no, wait --

posted by: joel hanes on 02.12.08 at 01:36 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?